Mislead Overprotective Boyfriend

 
Lindsey Love

 

Does anyone else have an overprotective boyfriend who is convinced that the only form of pole dancing is for strippers? 

I have explained that I do not do it for money, all of my private parts are covered at all times, and my main goal is to challenge my body physically to perform aerial skills. Pole dancing is a way to express yourself. It does not always include popping your booty on the floor primarily for a male audience. There is no way to explain the art of what I do. Because of this he doesn't ever want me to perform in front of an audience or post any type of videos. He has seen the way I dance and the tricks I do yet he is sticking to the idea that anything involving a pole is sexual. I even threatened to break up with him over it. I’m not alone on this right? Any advice?
Jul 25, 2012
PersianXcursian

have you shown him videos of professionals and articles on the benfits of pole dancing?? my dad doesnt want m performing in front of an audience either but my bf is cool with it cuz he knows at the end of the day, hes the one that gets to come home with me. if you've tried educating him and he is still being stubborn about it, then you gotta ask yourself, how badly do I want to perform and post videos? if its not a big deal then stay with him. but if it is and he's not willing to support you, then ditch him. you can find someone else who's proud of what you can do.
Jul 26, 2012
Kyrsten

My bf was like that at first (his response any time I mentioned going to pole class: "gross") but he's come around. Give it some time and try to ease him into it... my boyfriend probably would have been pissed at the idea of me performing in the beginning but I'm headed to a regional competition this month and he's really excited for me.

Have you shown him videos of Chinese pole? Nothing sexual about that. Why is it gymnastic and athletic on uneven bars but flip the bar vertical and suddenly it's immoral and slutty? LOL. Try showing him some of the more artsy/athletic videos of pole with no shoes, no sexy dance... it's no different than any other gymnastic or circus apparatus. Try also explaining about the pole community itself... I mean, it's 90% women who are appreciating this for goodness sake!! Lol.

But yeah, give it a little bit of time and if he remains adamant, it's your call. Sometimes it does take people a while to get rid of their preconceived notions about what "pole dancing" means. I personally feel like mentioning that I pole dance is an easy way to weed out the type of people I need to stay away from honestly. I don't need that kind of closed minded misogyny around. :)
Jul 26, 2012
FitChix1

You didn't mention how long you have been dating, or how long you have been pole dancing, so.. 

But if it hasn't been long for either relationship, then you have to realize a few things:

1) His hang ups about pole dance are HIS. If he is willing to end your relationship over your pole dancing, then you don't need his approval, or to try to change his mind. He'll either come around and accept and support you, or he won't.

2) Are you taking classes? Film yourself at class and he'll see what you are really doing all hour. I think mine was convinced we danced around in underwear grinding on the floor until I showed him a video. He has even given pole a try, he says it's hard! LOL.

Good luck!

 
Jul 26, 2012
Hazelnut

I haven't had any boyfriend issues but my parents were mortified and convinced I had found an alternative stripping career, until I showed them videos of Anastacia Shukhtorova... (however you spell that!) and they saw how beautiful a dance it can be without any sexual moves at all. Now they are cheering me on!

But boyfriends are different... I could see his point if he didn't like the idea of other people (and how does he know they aren't men?) seeing you in tiny outfits, but this is probably because he is insecure about how how much you fancy him... ie if other people pay that much attention to you, you may ditch him for someone better! But if you explain to him that 90% of the time it is a group of chicks jumping around together having fun, then he will probably calm down! So yeah, show him some shots from class!

if after all that he is still convinced you're a stripper in disguise, I'd ditch him. Life is too short to be with someone who isn't 10000% proud of you!
Jul 26, 2012
Empty

My parents are like that actually. While my mom is supportive she fears i'll dwell to the "dark side" from it. She doesn't want the teacher to record me cause heaven forbid its posted on facebook. My dad totally thinks I have some fascination with stripping and this is another gateway. So needless to say, when I go over there i keep a zip lip on my pole life.

My fiance, well he's on the fence. He loves that I have a passion and it evens out our "me time" playing field. He has his thing, I have mine. He makes fun of mine a lot. Calls it "strip training" and all that stuff. But in the end he pays for my classes, tells his friends and listens to my stories. Some of my female friends are like "rock on!" and others have kinda disowned me for it cause i'm a "heathen" now.  So there is always that stigma no matter who you tell it to.

Hazlenut basically said everything i was thinking. So what she said x100! :)
Jul 26, 2012
dustbunny Previous Paid Member

My husband definitely had some hang-ups at first, but with time he has come around.  He has even tried it a few times.  :)  His biggest problem now, is the posting of videos on youtube, facebook, or here on SV.  Particularly anything that I'm in a skimpy outfit.  I post very few videos in public (YT or FB), and only videos where I'm in shorts and a tank top.  Anything that I'm wearing something skimpy (underwear or bikini style outfits) I post here and just don't tell him.  LOL
Jul 26, 2012
TrixieLovett

It seems as though "overprotective" means controlling and insecure. And since you've tried to educate him about his misconception the question then becomes: Do you really want to keep company with that type of person? There are a lot of people we have to interact with on a regular basis just to function in society. However, you do have a choice of those you bring into your personal life and especially your inner circle. Please choose wisely.
Jul 26, 2012
tarah

I really love everyone's responses.  So much good advice that I don't have any to add.  Just want to wish you good luck, with or without him! 
Jul 26, 2012
Annieloo

My boyfriend was pretty unsure about it at first, until I showed him a video of Jenyne (same video I showed to my mom, actually) and it was an instant change of mindset. My boyfriend is incredibly supportive of me poling and shares in my excitement when I finally get a new move. I think if your man isn't going to let go of his hang ups in support what makes you happy, then you'll probably feel uncomfortable discussing / obsessing about (LOL!) pole around him and that really doesn't make for a good close realtionship, in my opinion.

Hopefully this is not the case, but if it is it only means there is someone out there who will appreciate the multi-dimensional sport pole is and at least love what makes you happy! best of luck! Everything will work out as it is supposed to!
Jul 26, 2012
LillyBilly

I used to have a boyfriend who wasn't supportive of my hobbies (even after talking about them and what they mean to me). I dumped him and kept my hobbies.

My current boyfriend admires everything I do.
Jul 27, 2012
Beckypolegirl
i am very open about my pole but am very lucky that everybody including my husband family friends and work mates are all very supportive. They all ask to see regular photos and videos of my progress so its nice to have support. Hopefully your boyfriend will come round x
Jul 27, 2012
DedeJoy

I vote for "be 100% completely, totally, up front and honest" about this. Sit him down and lay it out one. more. time. This is what I do, for reasons that are about me. I don't do it for attention, or money, or fame, or glory, or for tips. :D If you can't be supportive and understand what this is about for me, then I'll do better with it on my own.

It's possible that, if he realizes that you take it so seriously, you're willing to torpedo the relationship over it, he might also begin to take your poling seriously. He might also just be one of those guys who refuses to un-sexualize it. That may never change.

My opinion is that it appears he does not respect you as an adult who is capable of making your own decisions. Right now, you're kind of letting him drive your choices for you. Ask HIM to hold the camera and take some video for you. Then watch it with him and let him listen to you critique yourself, i.e., "Oh, I should have extended my leg more," or "Oops, need pointed toes there," or "Oh, I've almost got that one, but I need to keep my right hand a little higher." Maybe he needs to see you picking it apart as a discipline, and not just catching video so you can post it on Facebook like some kind of attention whore. Most of us get plenty of attention over this without having to troll for it, ya know? :>)

 
Jul 27, 2012
Ana

My parents bought me a pole after I showed them this video:

[www.youtube.com]

And I show this one whenever I'm explaining what I do to boys:

[www.youtube.com]

I've found them to be very effective - so far everyone has been really supportive. Good luck!

 
Jul 27, 2012
Wiley

When I clicked on your post, I was like.. Wait a second, did -I- write that?  I'm in the same boat as you.  So I don't have much good advice but the other girls posted some good stuff that I myself should take note of.  I poled for 6 months before I met my boyfriend and I already owned a pole, so there's NO way I'm quitting a passion of mine.  I showed him some Jenyne and Zoraya videos but he still thought those were too "strippery"!  He enjoyed Oona's though.  [www.studioveena.com]

I agree with fitchix- He needs to know that you're not going to put up with him being a freak over one of your passions.  I evaluated my own relationship and it is clear that my bf is a very jealous and overprotective person.  I have never gone to the bars without him and he does not like it when I get male attention.  He does not like it when I talk about parties or anything I ever did before I met him.  Since I found the pole before I found him, he has put up with me poling but recently he has banned me from street poling.  Posting videos on studioveena... Hell no I won't even try to ask!  The main problem my boyfriend has with pole dancing is the "stripper" association it has and he thinks that no one will have respect for me.  And when people see me do a pole trick, they think "Hey look at that hoe on the pole, she wants attention" rather than "Damn, those are some impressive pole moves".  

My boyfriend knows that I will drop him before I drop pole, so we compromised over the situation.  I can pole as long as I am not "slutty" about it.  He is naturally overprotective, so I can deal with it.  He treats me like a queen in all other respects; otherwise I would kick him to the curb.  Sometimes, I do wonder if I would be happier with another guy. Anyways, how is the rest of your relationshp?  Is your boyfriend controlling and will not listen to you at all in other aspects of life?  Does he respect your opinions?  I may be wrong, but in your case it sounds like he has a hang-up over the possiblity that you are a desired sexual being to other guys because you can pole, and he wants you all to himself.  Well guess what- someone is still going to find you desirable whether you pole or not!
Jul 27, 2012
Lindsey Love

Thanks so much for the advice everyone!!! You have all been really helpful on the issue. It’s nice to know that I am not the only one who is dealing with this! I laid down the line for him and said that it is my life and therefore I can do whatever I want to do, especially since I know I am not doing anything wrong. His opinion on the matter is that he doesn’t want me to do it in front of crowds (clubs, competitions, etc.), and he doesn’t want me to post videos on YouTube or Facebook. He is fine with me posting videos on here because it’s mostly girls viewing the videos. But like I said it is my life, and if I chose to post videos or perform then he will just have make a decision whether it means more to him than being with me. We have been together for 2 years now, and I started poling in the middle of our relationship. Ironically, he pays for my classes. I’m kinda in the same boat with Little Engine except he calls them “hooker classes” lol. The only reason he wants me to do it is so I can dance sexy for him. He will just have to except the fact that I have other personal reasons why I picked up this hobby then solely to make him happy. Hopefully he will come to this realization and be more excepting with time! As far as parents go... I haven’t even bothered telling them yet. I’ll be sure to post their reactions when they find out. I’m sure it will be the same process of thinking I’m a stripper yada yada. Thanks again everyone, and good luck with everything!
Aug 6, 2012
Lindsey Love

And Wiley I definitely agree that he is worried about other guys being sexually attracted to me. He is even legitimately concerned that I will get a stalker or two. Luckily, he doesn’t try to control me other areas for the most part. So I know he will come around eventually J.
Aug 6, 2012
DedeJoy

Well, I'm glad you've made a little progress for now, but it still seems very controlling that he has all these constraints and rules he wants to put on you about it. And as long as he's paying for your classes, you are giving him that power to call those shots.

 

My suggestion is to pay for your own classes, then post pix and vid wherever the hell you want to. If you simply can't afford to and you insist on allowing him to pay for your classes, then you will have to suck it up and obey any rules he lays down about it. Be prepared for there to be more rules and stricter rules as your skill improves. He will tighten the thumbscrews every so often as long as you're still letting him think he's in charge of you. I can't recommend strongly enough the value of paying your own way so you can be in charge of yourself.
Aug 6, 2012
Anonyma

my ex boyfriend was the same.....

but now im in the opposite situation, my new boyfriend is TOO MUCH interrested by my pole fitness involvement

he even called off from work to come to my competition in september , I mean i am happy he's supportive but it stress me more than anything that he s following me everywhere
Aug 6, 2012
Annieloo

Just a word of advice: a boyfriend who is controlling and doesn't want you to get attention from other guys likely has some self-esteem issues as well. He should want you to shine the way you deserve to. A friend of mine just left a boyfriend like this, whom she was dating for ~10 years, because he didn't like when she dressed a certain way as she is very attractive and would attract attention from other men and didn't like her going to the gym -- God forbid another man might notice her or even talk to her.

I'm not in anyone else's situation so I can't possibly know everything, but I don't think anyone should have to feel restricted or feel constrained to someone else's "rules"
Aug 6, 2012
AriFerrari

Lindsay Love:

No boyfriend, husband, or any other kind of significant other has the right to "allow" you to do anything. You are a grown woman who can do as she pleases, and especially the things that make you feel fulfilled and happy. You also deserve respect and someone who admires everything about you, including your poling. True support isn't toleration of your hobby, it's encouragement and pride in your hard work and accomplishments. Anyone who gives you anything less doesn't deserve to be a part of those things. I would not tolerate my boyfriend thinking that paying for my classes or being in a relationship with him gave him the right to dictate for who/when/where/why I pole. AND I definitely wouldn't dance for him! He doesn't deserve it! That's extremely selfish and unfair considering his negativity towards your hobby in the first place. 

I am not judging you nor can I truly judge your relationship without knowing you or your boyfriend, but from what you've shared I can say that you should definitely remember that the only person who can really choose your path and happiness is yourself, the people you bring along for the ride should deserve to be there walking beside you, not holding you back or dragging you somewhere. 

 
Aug 6, 2012
muroo Previous Paid Member

I agree with everything said here. Just one more thing I'd like to add though (something I used in an argument).

I have a guy friend who touts himself as super progressive 'n open-minded and whatnot. Talking to him about pole dancing was always fine. Then one day I mentioned chair play lessons and stuff. Out of nowhere he was like "I can see how you can pull off pole dancing as exercise, but chair? Come ON. this is only destigmatized because it's for 'fitness'."

The point that got across to him was, no matter what the dancing or exercise, it's not "just stripping lessons" if it's for you. Sure, we might post videos because we're proud, or want some constructive criticism, but there's no audience we "need". And maybe we use this on our sig others, but haha, really, you should have some arsenal for that in the first place. =P (Hopefully!) The viewer has no power over what we do. And because of that, choosing to do pole dancing instead of any other hobby is just that -- a hobby, an art form, a passion -- that has to do with no one else.  

Even if I were stripping or dancing for money or an audience...as long as I'm the one who wants to do it, and that's common knowledge now, destigmatize it already!

Anyway, a bit off topic, but I kind of had to get it out there once I was reminded of this friend. Who I'm not really great friends with any more for other reasons. Reasons including that thinking about him always gets me worked up and angry!...which wastes a lot of my time. =P Energy vampires, begone.

Allll thatttt said, stalkers are scary. But avoiding stalkers means avoiding any public exposure of even any pictures, so...impossible. =P

My boyfriend is supportive of my pole habit, even though I have a rule that he can never watch. :-) (Maybe one day, for a special occasion...) 
Aug 7, 2012
adAstra

I love this thread; we've got such strong women on StudioVeena! Looks like you've got tons of great advice already so I will just reiterate that you should do what you have to and be true to yourself, whatever that means to you :)
Aug 7, 2012
Onga01
My boyfriend is the exact same.. I posted a video on facebook and youtube and he wasnt happy at all. We got into a really big argument about it and i tried to tell him i only do it for fitness..in the end he made me delete certain photos of pole dancing off facebook but i kept the video up just as a revenge thing... Been with him for 3 years and ive considered breaking up over it...
Aug 8, 2012
monica kay

just be who you are.

do what makes you comfortable and happy.

if he has a problem with it- if he does not like who you are- he can get the  ^&*(  out!
Aug 8, 2012
nymphdancer

I had a boyfriend like that. I didn't even pole at the time but just me walking was too slutty. Notice i said HAD.

 

Now I have a wonderful husband who loves me for me.
Aug 8, 2012
miMi de

Hmm, I've had a boyfriend that hated me pole dancing in public (competitions, pole jams etc). But my current fella is amazingly supportive, he drove me to my first competition and helps out alot at the university club I attend, he really helped calm my nerves about peforming too ( i could never dance for him - his mum is an ex pro ballerina and his brother is a dancer that owns a number of schools, so he knows quite a bit, so i was worried what he would think of my own ability. But i wowed him!! ).

Im not sure how to change peoples perceptions on this dance form as it does have sleazy connotations and on top of that there are men out there that are uncomfortable with a woman that is very attuned to her own sexuality. However my parents, aunts, uncles. cousins and my grandmother love it and all have had a go on my pole, and ask me to do certain tricks. I think for men have to try it to understand that it is a  combination of grace and strength. e.g. shoulder mounts/ flag/dead lifts etc. and to show them the physiques and peformances of some of the professional dancers.

Unfortunately there will always be those that are stuck in their own way of thinking - but i think you should always do what makes you happy and if someone wants to understand you let alone love you, they will accept that this dance is a part of you and will support you.
Aug 8, 2012
Roxxie

You really dont need to prove anything to him. If he is so jealous over your choice of sport imagine what else he can be jealous of. This type of guy will suffocate you and be jealous of everything you do. So do your thing!! In the end what matters is what makes you happy :)

Do for you. Never EVER sacrifice something you love for a man. Besides, succeeding in pole dancing will most probably make you happier than he ever will....just a thought :)

 
Aug 9, 2012
monica kay

regarding what you wrote about posting on youtube and posting on veena...

i have a youtube and like 85% of the views are from WOMEN AGED 30-40!!!  and i only have like 100 views total of about 20 videos.  just thought i'd mention, because i thought for sure guys would be checkin out the pole dance, but it seems that it's mostly women like us watching pole vids on youtube! haha!

also- i think it should be stated that just bc your dude isnt all excited about your hobby doesnt mean you should dump him immediatley. people come from different backgrounds and sometimes it takes time for opinions to shift.  also, as people grow and mature, they sometimes lose insecurities.  what's really important is trust.  he's just going to have to trust you.

and if he doesnt...

he can the ^&*)&^(*)_)*& out!!!
Aug 9, 2012
HellOnHeelsNH
I don't "ask" my mans permission, he doesn't need to "let" me do what I want to... I'm pretty sure my man is my man and not my father ;) just sayin ;)
Aug 11, 2012
SpyralBound

While compromise is important to relationships, there is one thing we women should always remember: 

You ALONE own your sexuality. Whether or not you are in a sexual relationship with someone else, it is yours to do with as you please. 

I have a big problem with people who treat their partners like possessions instead of people. And that is exactly what happens when one partner tries to put limits on the other partner's sexuality out of jealousy. It's one thing to be concerned about your partner's safety - that s/he might pick up stalkers, invite dangerous attention, or even jeopardize their professional reputation - but it's another thing to be concerned that someone else might even *look* at your partner with sexual attraction.

To try to keep other people from being sexually attracted to your partner is not only absurd and hopeless, but very possessive and territorial, and in some cases can even constitute abuse. One of the keystones of abuse is the abuser making an effort to isolate his/her victim from friends, family, and even the public. It isn't always, but can be a slippery slope from "I don't want anyone else to see you in skimpy clothes" to "I don't want anyone else to see you at all." It's not just jealousy, it's control. Relationships should be based on mutual respect, and trying to own your partner's body and sexuality by placing limits and restrictions on them is disrespectful. Period. End of sentence. 

One huge red flag I've seen in this thread, and elsewhere, is boyfriends/husbands who don't want anyone else to see you dancing or being sexy but are OK with, or enthusiastic about, you dancing just for them. This is controlling behavior. This is him claiming ownership of your body and your sexuality and establishing it as his property and his alone. This is him diminishing you as a person, stripping you of your agency, your responsibility, and your sovereignty, and not treating you as an equal. Andt this is not a decision he gets to make. 

Be very clear with your men, ladies. Your body is yours before it is anyone else's, and what you do with it, what you show and don't show, is ultimately your decision. If you offer it to him to play with and pleasure, this is something you do of your own free will, NOT because you are obligated to do so. Access to your body, visual or physical or otherwise, is a privilege, not a right. A man who cannot understand and respect this is not a man you want to waste time on. Seriously. Even if you love him, even if you've been together for years and years, even if he is good to you in every other way. 

That said, I generally find that pole dancers in relationships are usually quite conscious of their partners' feelings and show respect to their partners by choosing not to be "slutty" - not wearing super-skimpy or blatantly sexy clothes, not performing for others or poling in pulic, not posting videos or photos (or only those that aren't intentionally sexy), etc. If this is your own decision and you do it out of respect for your man's feelings, that's great - that is you being autonomous and respectful of your monogamy by not intentionally inviting sexual attention from others. But if you do it because you fear the repercussions, because he forced you to or threatened some sort of retaliation (like breaking up with you) if you didn't comply, because he wants or demands it of you, or even if you "just want to make him happy" - that's different. It's not autonomy, it's coercion. Please don't let yourself be manipulated. 
Aug 13, 2012
Jag5303

^^^ LOVE IT!
Aug 13, 2012
Katfan

Pankake said it perfectly. I am no one to judge either, but this is a very slippery slope when the partner has so many rules about this. My husband is a police officer-very much used to being in control, but he knows he can't control me if he wants to keep me! Even if he paid for my lessons, it would still be okay for me to pole. A pole is on my Xmas list-he doesn't care as long as it makes me happy!
Aug 13, 2012
Drdredancer
I dated a controlling guy for over 7 years. He made me quit cheerleading because guys that based me in college could see up my skirt. He thought when I perform bellydance, guys would hit on me. I realized that dancing and performing was a part of me and this guy didn't actually love me but loved the idea of me. Wanting to change the performer in me was like wanting to change me. Well, eventually I broke up with him. Now I am dating a fabulous supportive guy that completely understands. He works in the fitness industry and has supported every move and even encouraged my certification and my teaching pole. I feel so much happier that I can be myself around him. I feel happy he loves and accepts the real me. It's been 4 years! I think you should look into if this guy really loves you or just wants to control you.
Aug 14, 2012
Drdredancer
I dated a controlling guy for over 7 years. He made me quit cheerleading because guys that based me in college could see up my skirt. He thought when I perform bellydance, guys would hit on me. I realized that dancing and performing was a part of me and this guy didn't actually love me but loved the idea of me. Wanting to change the performer in me was like wanting to change me. Well, eventually I broke up with him. Now I am dating a fabulous supportive guy that completely understands. He works in the fitness industry and has supported every move and even encouraged my certification and my teaching pole. I feel so much happier that I can be myself around him. I feel happy he loves and accepts the real me. It's been 4 years! I think you should look into if this guy really loves you or just wants to control you.
Aug 14, 2012
Jemmie

I'm wondering what you believe would be a good compromise in this situation? Do you think there can even be a compromise, where she can stay true to herself but meet her boyfriend halfway? These questions aren't rhetorical, could someone please answer. 
Aug 15, 2012
ItsMeELeigh

I was a dancer in a strip club for 4 years in college and 2 years after I left the industry is when I discovered pole  (there was only 1 pole in my club and we all HATED that stage).  In fact,  I'm one of the few girls around who actually WAS a stripper - so I feel like I have an especially keen insight on the subject.

Pole dancing in the strip club is based on 2 things - Men and Money.  Period.  You do the moves that the men like and then they give you the money.  Girls don't work this hard in the club because it makes you sweaty and smelly and causes your makeup to run and it's tough to sell private dances in this condition.  ;)  Girls don't go upside down in the club because nude, upside down boobies are not cute (apparently) - but in the pole dancing world, the invert is something we all aspire toward.  Instead of it being about the men and the money, suddenly it's all about US - the women.

In the strip club, the men own the pole.  In the pole dancing world, women own the pole.  Am I making sense?

So, as much as we try to say "it's just excercise" or "it doesn't have to be sexual" and even though these statements can be true but  ...my question is - even if it IS sexual...so what? 

As a woman, you have a right to be sexy, to be sexual, to be fit, to have fun, to strive for your goal and share it with others.  Pole will ALWAYS be sexy because it was built to be exactly that.

I hope your boyfriend can learn to dig it...and understand that you feeling sexy, doing what you love and being happy is not only good for you...it's good for HIM! 

So, I guess I'm really not here to give you any advice on your boyfriend - just here to give you support, whatever you decide  to do and let you know that you rock, no matter what.

I hope you two can reach a compromise that keeps you both comfortable and working toward your dreams.

 
Aug 15, 2012
SpyralBound

To answer Jemmie...

Sure, compromise is possible. Two people in a relationship can sit down and hammer out some rules that they both agree on. In fact, that's encouraged, because it involves discussion, compassion, understanding each other's feelings and finding a balance. 

What's NOT cool is for one partner to impose rules on the other, unconditionally, without a respectful discussion and mutual decision. When I hear words like "I'm not allowed to" or "he/she won't let me," it raises red flags for me because it implies an imbalance of power in the relationship, where one person sets the rules and the other must obey. It also implies that the person setting the rules doesn't trust his/her partner.

In the case of the Jealous Pole Boyfriend (and I'm not talking specifically about the boyfriends mentioned here - think of this as a "type" of personality), he doesn't trust that his girlfriend isn't intentionally going out there seeking sexual attention. He sees pole as a sexual thing, and he feels threatened by the notion of other people seeing his girlfriend being sexual, because that could make them attracted to her, which could make them pursue her and become his competition. He may not trust that she could protect herself against advances. He feels insecure in his status as her one-and-only, and this insecurity increases when he sees her *really* enjoying what she's doing. Will she enjoy it so much she leaves him behind? Does she enjoy the dance, or the attention? How can I keep this from getting out of hand?

None of this is unreasonable by itself. Nor is it specific to men - women can feel insecure and threatened, too, if their partners are suddenly in the spotlight of a lot of other people's attention. The more insecure the person is about their status in the relationship, the more they will try to control their partner. 

A good plan for the girlfriend would be:

1) Tell your man you understand his feelings and where he is coming from, and you appreciate his concern. Don't be dismissive of his fear just because you don't share it. If you were concerned about something he was doing and brought it up to him, you would expect him to take you seriously, not blow you off, right? So show him the same respect. 

2) Reassure your man that he is your Number One, especially when it comes to sex. Give him your reasons for pursuing pole - and not just the practical fitness-related ones.Tell him how much fun you have, how it feels to learn a new move and see your body getting stronger, the rush of performing a really difficult trick and getting applause. Tell him it makes you feel sexy, and when you feel sexy, you think about HIM and how special he is to you, and how you love feeling and being sexy for him. 

3) Invite a discussion about what reasonable steps you can take to help him feel more comfortable, and look for room to compromise. Maybe he's okay with you taking lessons but not performing. Maybe he can tolerate you performing as long as he's in the audience, too. Maybe he's concerned about the venues you're performing is - "open pole" night at a bar or club vs. a formal competition or showcase vs. Facebook & YouTube - or the outfits you wear to perform. Whatever his concerns are, hear them out without dismissing them, and brainstorm some ideas, together, that have you meeting each other halfway.

There has to be some "give" on each side, but no one should be asked to sacrifice more than they are willing. That is, don't agree to obey rules you don't agree with in the first place, because you'll just be tempted to bend or break them later, or resent him for imposing them. And keep in mind, you can ask for your own concessions too - maybe say you don't want to hear him calling you or other dancers "strippers" or "whores," even if they do dance sexily. 

4) Honor your agreements. Show him you respect him and that he can trust you not to violate the boundaries you've established together. If you agreed not to put videos of yourself dancing on YouTube, then don't. Once you've spent some time and gotten comfortable with the new boundaries, you may even be able to revisit the conversation with him -- "Now that I've been poling for a year and my skills have advanced, I'm really interested in performing. How would you feel about that?" You might find that he's relaxed and gotten used to the idea, or is at least more open to the possibility, now that pole has become a more routine part of your life together. 

This approach may not work for everyone. It won't work if the boyfriend is very set in his mind against pole and won't consider any compromises. It won't work if he continues to behave possessively even after agreements have been reached. During the compromise talk, you may bump into issues you just can't agree on. Any of these obstacles could be a dealbreaker for your relationship - that's up to YOU to decide, of course. 

I still stand by my original statement, though, to be cautious of men who seem overly jealous, overly protective, or overly insecure. If he constantly needs reassurance that your relationship is solid and stable and you're not going anywhere, that's not really healthy in the long term. If he can't have a mature and rational discussion about something like this - if he just flies off the handle, or tries to manipulate or coerce you into agreeing to something you don't want to agree to, or tries to give you an ultimatum, or seems more concerned with protecting his status as your BF and not actually concerned about YOU, those are all bad signs. Not just in regards to pole but in general. I'm not saying Dump Him Immediately, but would encourage you to do some soul-searching and reflect on if this is the kind of partner, and partnership, you really want. 
Aug 15, 2012
AvaBabe
^^^ applause for that right there ^^^
Aug 15, 2012
Jemmie

Ok, I just thought the tone of this thread was too negative towards a guy we don't even know. From what I've read in your post, I think you should try communicating with him again. Maybe the communication before was not effective. Actually, I can understand where he's coming from so that's why I'm like this. Not that I was like that before, I can just see things from his POV. Like someone said, it takes time for some people to come around. You decide whether you're willing to wait or not. Also, he may never come around. And if that is too big a problem FOR YOU then YOU decide if you want to continue this relationship. It won't be that he was a bad boyfriend if you decide to breakup (that's how you guys are making it sound on here), it would be that you guys just weren't meant to be....you won't be happy with him, but someone else will. I'm not saying that's always the case, where a guy who doesn't do well with one person will always do well with another.....some people really do have traits that will not work in a healthy relationship. But he sounds pretty human to me. 
Aug 15, 2012
Jemmie

Ok, I just thought the tone of this thread was too negative towards a guy we don't even know. From what I've read in your post, I think you should try communicating with him again. Maybe the communication before was not effective. Actually, I can understand where he's coming from so that's why I'm like this. Not that I was like that before, I can just see things from his POV. Like someone said, it takes time for some people to come around. You decide whether you're willing to wait or not. Also, he may never come around. And if that is too big a problem FOR YOU then YOU decide if you want to continue this relationship. It won't be that he was a bad boyfriend if you decide to breakup (that's how you guys are making it sound on here), it would be that you guys just weren't meant to be....you won't be happy with him, but someone else will. I'm not saying that's always the case, where a guy who doesn't do well with one person will always do well with another.....some people really do have traits that will not work in a healthy relationship. But he sounds pretty human to me. 
Aug 15, 2012
Drdredancer
I think you just need to decide if this issue is a deal breaker and how happy you are with the relationship in general. In my experience, negotiation and communication about this simply didn't work. It may in your case... Try it. It's worth a shot! ;). I must add though, I would never have dated my current wonderful bf had I just settled with the other one.
Aug 16, 2012
Lindsey Love

Latest news on the issue... I just told him about my first showcase coming up. I was really excited about it and didn't think it would be a big deal at all. He got mad at me because I didn't ask if he was ok with it before signing up. Which he isn't because he is insecure about me dancing in front of people in skimpy clothes (even though I explained it is soley for friends and family to see your progress). Long story short this has turned into a few hour long battle. I do love him, but I want to be with someone that supports me in what I do. He is hurt because I'm not taking his opinion into consideration. He states that he wants us to be partners in everything we do. The thing that he is not understanding is that this is not about him. This is my hobbie in which he can support me or not. I actually did bring the break up words up. He is now sad that he is "disposable" over something like this. But it isn't just about this. I want to live my life without someone dictating what I can and can't do. If he still wants to be with me then he is going to have to accept the fact that this is not up for discussion.
Aug 17, 2012
JeHanne

Hi Lindsey,

Only you really know what the best for you is and what you are willing to accept. It sounds like he has significant insecurities and control issues. It is a wonderful thing to have someone support you in your hobbies and passions, something he clearly doesn't seem able to do. 

If you go forward with the showcase I hope you have a blast and maybe he will come around. 
Aug 17, 2012
LillyBilly

Wow, your BF sounds just like my ex...

I hope things turn out OK for you. I hope you enjoy the showcase!
Aug 18, 2012
 
mgpoledance
You did a really great job organizing your lessons! They look great and would be easy for a beginner to follow! ~Margie
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